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LWV League of Women Voters of Ohio
Smart Voter
State of Ohio November 7, 2006 Election
Directory of Ohio State Issues
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Issue 1. Referendum on Am. Sub. SB 7 - Workers' Compensation -- State of Ohio (Submitted by Referendum Petition - A majority yes vote is necessary for passage)
Shall certain measures from Amended Substitute Senate Bill No. 7 to reform Ohio's Workers' Compensation Law be approved?

Amended Substitute Senate Bill No. 7 makes changes to Ohio's Workers' Compensation Law, including the following:

Changes procedures for determining the amount of compensation that may be received for wage loss or permanent total disability. Allows workers' compensation and benefits to be awarded to a victim of sexual assault at the workplace. Prohibits certain prisoners from receiving workers' compensation and benefits while confined to a county jail and designates the Bureau of Workers' Compensation Special Investigation Department a criminal justice agency. Exempts the addresses and phone numbers of workers receiving workers' compensation and benefits from Ohio's Public Records Law and from public access, except to journalists. Allows employment in a sheltered workshop for injured workers with traumatic brain injuries even if a worker is receiving workers' compensation and benefits. Requires that workers demonstrate "substantial aggravation" of a pre-existing condition by certain objective criteria before workers' compensation and benefits may be awarded, specifies eligibility qualifications for permanent total disability compensation, and reduces the time frame for which claims may be brought. Improves the ability to settle workers' compensation claims under certain conditions, voids certain settlement agreements upon death, increases amounts available on specified attorneys' fees and changes rules of procedure related to certain appeals. Prevents the Workers' Compensation Oversight Commission from setting a different policy than requirements outlined in Ohio law regarding who may serve as investment managers. Allows self-insuring employers to pay compensation and benefits directly under certain conditions. IF APPROVED, THESE AMENDMENTS AND ENACTMENTS WILL BE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

Issue 2. Proposed Constitutional Amendment -- State of Ohio (Proposed by Initiative Petition - A majority affirmative vote is necessary for passage)
To adopt Section 34a of Article II of the Constitution of the State of Ohio. Except as provided in this section, every employer shall pay their employees a wage rate of not less than six dollars and eighty-five cents per hour beginning January 1, 2007. On the thirtieth day of each September, beginning in 2007, this state minimum wage rate shall be increased effective the first day of the following January by the rate of inflation for the twelve month period prior to that September according to the consumer price index or its successor index for all urban wage earners and clerical workers for all items as calculated by the federal government rounded to the nearest five cents. Employees under the age of sixteen and employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of two hundred fifty thousand dollars or less for the preceding calendar year shall be paid a wage rate of not less than that established under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or its successor law. This gross revenue figure shall be increased each year beginning January 1, 2008 by the change in the consumer price index or its successor index in the same manner as the required annual adjustment in the minimum wage rate set forth above rounded to the nearest one thousand dollars. An employer may pay an employee less than, but not less than half, the minimum wage rate required by this section if the employer is able to demonstrate that the employee receives tips that combined with the wages paid by the employer are equal to or greater than the minimum wage rate for all hours worked. The provisions of this section shall not apply to employees of a solely family owned and operated business who are family members of an owner. The state may issue licenses to employers authorizing payment of a wage rate below that required by this section to individuals with mental or physical disabilities that may otherwise adversely affect their opportunity for employment. As used in this section: "employer," "employee," "employ," "person" and "independent contractor" have the same meanings as under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or its successor law, except that "employer" shall also include the state and every political subdivision and "employee" shall not include an individual employed in or about the property of the employer or individual's residence on a casual basis. Only the exemptions set forth in this section shall apply to this section. An employer shall at the time of hire provide an employee the employer's name, address, telephone number, and other contact information and update such information when it changes. An employer shall maintain a record of the name, address, occupation, pay rate, hours worked for each day worked and each amount paid an employee for a period of not less than three years following the last date the employee was employed. Such information shall be provided without charge to an employee or person acting on behalf of an employee upon request. An employee, person acting on behalf of one or more employees and/or any other interested party may file a complaint with the state for a violation of any provision of this section or any law or regulation implementing its provisions. Such complaint shall be promptly investigated and resolved by the state. The employee's name shall be kept confidential unless disclosure is necessary to resolution of a complaint and the employee consents to disclosure. The state may on its own initiative investigate an employer's compliance with this section and any law or regulation implementing its provisions. The employer shall make available to the state any records related to such investigation and other information required for enforcement of this section or any law or regulation implementing its provisions. No employer shall discharge or in any other manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee for exercising any right under this section or any law or regulation implementing its provisions or against any person for providing assistance to an employee or information regarding the same. An action for equitable and monetary relief may be brought against an employer by the attorney general and/or an employee or person acting on behalf of an employee or all similarly situated employees in any court of competent jurisdiction, including the common pleas court of an employee's county of residence, for any violation of this section or any law or regulation implementing its provisions within three years of the violation or of when the violation ceased if it was of a continuing nature, or within one year after notification to the employee of final disposition by the state of a complaint for the same violation, whichever is later. There shall be no exhaustion requirement, no procedural, pleading or burden of proof requirements beyond those that apply generally to civil suits in order to maintain such action and no liability for costs or attorney's fees on an employee except upon a finding that such action was frivolous in accordance with the same standards that apply generally in civil suits. Where an employer is found by the state or a court to have violated any provision of this section, the employer shall within thirty days of the finding pay the employee back wages, damages, and the employee's costs and reasonable attorney's fees. Damages shall be calculated as an additional two times the amount of the back wages and in the case of a violation of an anti-retaliation provision an amount set by the state or court sufficient to compensate the employee and deter future violations, but not less than one hundred fifty dollars for each day that the violation continued. Payment under this paragraph shall not be stayed pending any appeal. This section shall be liberally construed in favor of its purposes. Laws may be passed to implement its provisions and create additional remedies, increase the minimum wage rate and extend the coverage of the section, but in no manner restricting any provision of the section or the power of municipalities under Article XVIII of this constitution with respect to the same. If any part of this section is held invalid, the remainder of the section shall not be affected by such holding and shall continue in full force and effect. A majority yes vote is necessary for passage.




Issue 3. Proposed Constitutional Amendment - Gambling and college scholarships - Learn & Earn -- State of Ohio (Proposed by Initiative Petition - A majority yes vote is necessary for passage)
To adopt Section 12 of Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.

This amendment to the Constitution would:

Permit up to 31,500 slot machines at seven horse racing tracks and at two Cleveland non-track locations. Permit expanded gaming in the four Cuyahoga County locations if approved by the county's voters. Distribute the revenues as follows: 55% to the slot and casino owners and operators. 30% to the Board of Regents for college scholarships and grants to eligible students and administration of the program. The remaining revenues to be divided among local governments, race tracks for purse money, gambling addiction services, and The administration of the Gaming Integrity Commission comprised of five members appointed by the governor and the majority legislative leaders. The moneys provided by this amendment are to supplement and not supplant existing and future constitutional obligations to post-secondary education and local governments.

Issue 4. Proposed Constitutional Amendment - Restrict smoking places - Smoke Less -- State of Ohio (Proposed by Initiative Petition - A majority yes vote is necessary for passage)
To adopt Section 12 of Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.

This proposed amendment would prohibit smoking in enclosed areas except tobacco stores, private residences or nonpublic facilities, separate smoking areas in restaurants, most bars, bingo and bowling facilities, separated areas of hotels and nursing homes, and race tracks. The amendment would invalidate retroactively any ordinance or local law in effect, and would prohibit the future adoption of any ordinance or local law to the extent such ordinance or law prohibited smoking or tobacco products in anyplace exempted by the amendment.

Issue 5. Proposed Law -- State of Ohio (Proposed by Initiative Petition - A majority yes vote is necessary for passage)
To enact Chapter 3794. of the Ohio Revised Code to restrict smoking in places of employment and most places open to the public. The proposed law would:
  • Prohibit smoking in public places and places of employment;
  • Exempt from the smoking restrictions certain locations, including private residences (except during the hours that the residence operates as a place of business involving non-residents of the private residence), designated smoking rooms in hotels, motels, and other lodging facilities; designated smoking areas for nursing home residents; retail tobacco stores, outdoor patios, private clubs, and family-owned and operated places of business;
  • Authorize a uniform statewide minimum standard to protect workers and the public from secondhand tobacco smoke;
  • Allow for the declaration of an establishment, facility, or outdoor area as nonsmoking;
  • Require the posting of "No Smoking" signs, and the removal of all ashtrays and similar receptacles from any area where smoking is prohibited;
  • Specify the duties of the department of health to enforce the smoking restrictions
  • Create in the state treasury the "smoke free indoor air fund;"
  • Provide for the enforcement of the smoking restrictions and for the imposition of civil fines upon anyone who violates the smoking restrictions.




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